Skills to Look for When Hiring a Commercial Painter

When it comes to commercial property maintenance and renovation, the role of a skilled commercial painter cannot be overstated. A fresh coat of paint can transform the aesthetics of a business space, enhance its brand image, and protect the structural integrity of the building. However, not all painters are created equal. Knowing what skills to look for when hiring a commercial painter is crucial to ensure that your commercial painting project is executed with precision and professionalism.

This article will delve into the essential skills that separate outstanding commercial painters from the rest. Whether you’re planning to refresh the façade of your retail store, revamp your office interior, or undertake a large-scale warehouse project, understanding these skills will empower you to make an informed hiring decision.

Things to consider when hiring a commercial painter

Residential services

Now that you’ve decided to have your commercial space repainted for whatever reason, you will need to hire a professional painting contractor – there’s no other way. This is why you should not take chances during the hiring process. Else, you’re only wasting your time and resources.

Here are the three essential qualities you should not miss when looking for a commercial painting painter:

1) Experience – Experience is usually the first thing customers have in mind when seeking professional services like commercial painting. They would ask painters whether they have sufficient experience in painting commercial buildings or how long they have been working in the paint service industry.

A job as big as commercial painting should never be done by amateurs or anyone who hasn’t been properly trained in the skills needed. Commercial painters use special equipment to paint high ceilings and hard-to-reach areas, clean the stubborn dirt off exterior walls, and protect different surface types, among other things. 

Besides, painting commercial buildings can be risky, so painters must always adhere to the safety rules and guidelines provided to them during training by their own company. So, you should look for a commercial painting contractor who has the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary for the project.

2) Business license – Licensing requirements depend on the state, and California has specific licensing requirements for general building, engineering, remodeling (that includes painting), and specialty contractors. So, any contractor operating within the state must be licensed by the California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) in order to operate legally, with some exceptions.

If you hire a painting contractor who is not licensed, you are entering into an illegal contract – and you can get yourself in trouble for doing so. You could be a victim of fraud if the contractors you hired turn out to be scammers as they are not licensed. Look elsewhere if a contractor doesn’t have a valid and updated license.

Insurance is the other important thing that painting contractors should have. If the painters aren’t licensed, they cannot be insured. Not having a license can make the building inspector stop work in progress if it’s not being done by a licensed and insured contractor.

Painting can expose the crew and their clients to hazards and physical risks. That’s why contractors must safeguard their workers and clients by having the right insurance – specifically, both general liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance. For your peace of mind, don’t forget to ask contractors to verify their licenses and insurance before hiring them for your project.

3) References – Any reputable commercial painting contractor will be confident and happy to provide you with references – a list of customers for whom they’ve completed the project. Ask contractors for their references’ names and contact information, and be sure to contact them. 

Once you get to speak to the references, ask them such questions as:

  • What was the scope of your project?
  • Did the contractor provide you with an estimate and explain the costs to you?
  • Did the contractor finish the project on time? If not, why not?
  • Did the contractor stay on budget? If not, why not?
  • Were the crew punctual, courteous, and respectful? 
  • Was the job site kept clean? 
  • What do you like most and least about their work?
  • Would you recommend or re-hire this contractor?

If the references are generally satisfied with the contractor’s work based on their answers, you will most likely hire that contractor. But if you don’t get the answers you are hoping for, look for another contractor.

Skills a commercial painter should have

Skills a commercial painter should have

Skills often vary depending on the job of the crew or individual painter. Not all painting service companies have the same set or number of skills. You might not find (a) specific skill(s) you’re looking for in your shortlist’s contractors. During the hiring process, it’s important to review the list of skills offered by every candidate. 

  • Ability to paint accurately – This includes making accurate estimates of an interior or exterior painting project to determine exactly how much paint a project needs, cleaning and preparing surfaces for the paint to adhere properly, and picking the right colors, shades, and finishes.
  • Carpentry skills – Painters often come across wooden parts that need repairs or replacement in a home or building. So, it makes sense to hire a paint crew who also possesses general carpentry skills, such as repairing damaged drywall, removing acoustic ceilings, installing baseboards and crown molding, removing old wallpaper, replacing damaged wood siding or interior trim, etc. Painters with carpentry skills are often in demand. Customers won’t have to hire a separate painter and carpenter, so it’s a win-win situation for both painter and client.
  • Ability to work accurately and with attention to time – Time management skills such as planning, prioritizing, and organization help painters meet deadlines. They can benefit from using time management tools and trackers that will help them develop such skills.
  • Knowledge tools and materials for the job – Commercial painting requires the use of special tools, materials, and equipment that aren’t normally found in residential painting. They include power washers, sand blasters, scaffolds, mechanical lifts, airless paint sprayers, elastomeric paints, urethane paints, etc. Knowledge and understanding of tools and materials will help painters complete their jobs successfully.
  • Visual attention to detail – Reputable commercial painters leave no stone unturned, so to speak, to achieve a successful paint project. They always make sure that the surfaces are properly cleaned, prepared, and painted to achieve a high-quality and long-lasting finish. 
  • Ability to work at heights – Commercial painting often requires working at heights, such as high ceilings or a multi-story commercial space. Painters must be able to use ladders, scaffolds, platforms, or mechanical lifts to be able to paint such hard-to-reach areas safely and efficiently.
  • Ability to work with drywall – Despite its prevalence in construction, drywall is sometimes challenging to work with. Achieving an even and uniform finish when painting new drywall can be difficult because of the difference in texture and porosity between the paper surface and the joint compound used. Commercial painters have experience in working with drywall of various types and conditions.
  • Communication skills – In addition to painting and carpentry skills, commercial painters should possess excellent communication skills. They need to explain the plans and details clearly to project managers, tradespeople, and other contractors who may be working on the same project and to their clients who have no direct painting and carpentry knowledge.
  • Basic knowledge of electricity – Commercial painters often work close to live electrical lines and equipment and thus can be exposed to electrical hazards. They should have a basic knowledge of electricity to enable them to perform tasks that require specific actions, such as shutting off the main power, removing and re-installing electric wires and cables, covering switches and outlets, operating generators for their power tools, etc., to allow them to complete their paint job safely and efficiently.
  • Knowledge of using spray painters – Spray painting is a much-preferred technique over traditional methods when it comes to painting commercial buildings. It’s a far quicker job that gives the surfaces a smooth, uniform, and professional-looking finish. However, spray painting is prone to certain issues (such as overspray) when not dealt with very well. Spray painters are specialized tools; only experienced commercial painters know how to use them correctly.
  • Knowledge of using power/pressure washers – Power washers or pressure washers are very effective in getting rid of stubborn dirt, mud, oil, grease, and peeling paint. However, the high-pressure jets of water can damage the wooden siding, shatter glass, and even cause injury to anyone, especially if the power washer is handled by an inexperienced DIY-er. Handing the power washing to professionals who know how to operate the equipment safely and correctly is better.
  • Ability to keep the work area clean during and after the work is complete – As an owner of a commercial building, you must be ultimately responsible for keeping it clean and organized during and after the project. However, commercial painters should also clean up after themselves after calling it a day. But every painting company is different, so make sure that the commercial painting contractor you’re considering also offers clean-up services.

How hiring skilled commercial painters can help your business

How hiring skilled commercial painters can help your business

Here are some of the benefits of hiring professionals to paint your commercial space:

  • It creates first impressions on clients – Customers and investors will go “wow” when looking at how neat and welcoming your freshly painted commercial space is. They’ll think your business is stable, flourishing, and has great potential.
  • It attracts new customers and increases profits – Your newly painted space will make your business a standout, catching the eye of potential customers. It will be easier for you to turn them into your new clients, gain their trust, and encourage them to try your products and services. It helps drive fresh traffic to your business, which can generate more profits.
  • It creates a better environment for your employees and tenants – Having your office spaces painted in the right colors boosts the morale of your employees and tenants by creating a welcoming, pleasant, and comfortable working environment. It can help them feel more upbeat, motivated, and, ultimately, more productive.
  • It reflects your business brand – Exterior painting can be a powerful way of reflecting your business brand colors. Matching your business brand with the right exterior colors truly makes a statement. In other words, one of the benefits of commercial painting is to ensure that your clients recognize and remember your brand.
  • It increases the building’s life – Painting is not only for cosmetic purposes but can also extend its life. It protects your building from the outside elements, such as the weather, pollution, and human traffic. Painting jobs can also help in remedying issues like peeling paint, cracks, and molds by preventing them from occurring again. By repainting your commercial building regularly, you will provide continuous protection to your commercial building, keep it looking good, maintain its structural integrity, and save you from costly repairs.

Commercial services


Commercial painters may have greater skills and experience than your average residential painter. However, they are worth the extra penny for the time, money, and effort they will end up saving you. Knowing the characteristics and skills of a reputable commercial painting contractor will help you in making an informed hiring decision.

With the benefits of hiring a skilled and experienced painting contractor, the chances of your company’s success will likely be high. A commercial building that looks neat and well-maintained holds great potential and reflects how you care about maintaining your company’s good reputation while aiming to drive it to its success. That’s why you should see commercial painters as contributors, albeit indirectly, to the success of your business. 

The demand for skilled and experienced commercial painters is strong as companies and organizations will always need to maintain and update the appearance of their commercial spaces. If you need a professional painting service to paint your commercial space, call Custom Painting, Inc. at 925-294-8062 or send us a message. By working with our experienced professionals, you can be confident that your commercial building will look its best and be able to weather the rigors of daily use.